Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Thomas Mohr


Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee; Motion Therapy, Continuous Passive


This study investigated the effect of continuous passive motion (CPM) on the rehabilitation of patients undergoing total knee arthroplasty (TKA). Over the years, CPM use in the treatment of TKA has been debated whether it is effective enough to justify the medical expense that accompanies it.

Sixteen subjects who underwent TKA surgery participated in the study. Twelve subjects were in the CPM group and four subjects were in the non-CPM group. Groups were determined by the surgeon's rehabilitation preference of using the CPM or not using the CPM.

Post surgical subjects were treated with the CPM and physical therapy or with physical therapy alone. Knee flexion and extension active range of motion, perceived pain, ambulation, and length of stay were measured and compared between groups with independent t-tests.

No significant difference was found between groups for knee flexion and extension active range of motion, perceived pain, ambulation distance, and length of hospital stay.

The findings suggest that there is no difference in outcomes when using a CPM machine during the rehabilitation process of total knee arthroplasty. Due to the small research population and several limitations to the study, these findings cannot be related to the general population. This study is a pilot study; further research with better control of variables and a larger research population would allow for application to the general public. With advanced research, a more time and cost efficient program will be created for the acute rehabilitation for total knee arthroplasty.